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« Patanjali & 5 steps to master your thoughts | Main | 6 Strategies to leave your comfort zone »

5 Tips to develop aikido-monk awareness  

Martial artists develop insight into energy, mental and physical strength. They learn the mind and body are inseparable. They see thought and emotion interact together with consequences.  The mind attunes to energy consciousness and sensitivities.

Aikido blends martial arts, philosophy and spiritual beliefs. Practitioners train to re-direct aggressiveness and negativity with precise techniques and loving kindness. Progress arises from using energy fields and learning when not to exert oneself. To harness the flow of energy means one can move out of the way or respond accordingly to heavy energy fields.

Now, monks are spiritual masters of self-restraint. They do not permit egoism, attachment or vanity to control their decisions. They sense the flow of core energy and keep the peace. Monks subdue intense passions and are aware of the right thing to do. They set a standard for wisdom and self-control.

Aikido-monks attain a level of spiritual refinement that combines key traits of both monks and aikido. This hybrid perspective sheds light on inner power and reconciliation. Consider five tips to develop aikido-monk awareness;

1) Set your mind on your vision. Those who seek self-mastery do not find it. Those who master themselves grasp every being has degrees of awareness, but does not always grasp inner power or the paths and guidance to develop it.

2) Step back and observe. The simple step of choosing to become more aware helps you tap into inner knowing. You begin to identify and explore your conditioned responses.

3) Re-pattern instinctive responses to fear. Fear and insecurity are core beliefs that reinforce selfishness. Where these traits are not recognized and addressed, peace and compassion are less likely to become responses to conflict.

4) Synchronize thought, emotion and movement.  Gaining insight into emotions enables you to foresee what is coming or erupting and curtail it. Restraint in the senses can translate into restraint in conduct. That which cannot always be said or expressed in words can still be done. Be consistent.

5) Discipline the spirit. The path to personal harmony invites you to discipline your spirit and to explore power found in action and inaction.  Take steps to reconnect with chi energy and strengthen links between mind, body and spirit. Learn how the storage and sudden discharge of energy is possible without the use of muscular force. Learning is perpetual your way.

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Reader Comments (14)

Hi Liara! :D

Alexys was ever so kind to give your link (since I couldn't link to you)!

First of all, thank you so much for having dropped by my blog; I loved having you there, and please know that you are extremely welcome there :D!

Now, about your fascinating post:

That is why I like Asian philosophies: they teach us self-control. And through the practice of Martial Arts we can learn that emotions (negative ones) can get in the way and hurt us (since emotions blur the mind, and prevent us from seeing, feeling and protecting us from danger).

"Learning is perpetual" - one of the biggest truths on earth.

Liara, I loved this post! :D
Thanks for sharing your wisdom with us!

February 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMax Coutinho
Max, learning opportunities are infinite but individuals are not always aware or receptive. Spiritual activities that engage the physical body are slowly gaining public interest in the West. Practices such as yoga, t'ai chi, pilates, qigong and meditation help still the mind and raise awareness on new levels. Whenever a person chooses to take responsibility for his inner state, this releases thoughts and beliefs imprisoned by ego. If you believe unconsciousness (or lack of awareness) is the root cause of problems you perceive, then love, forgiveness and awakening are the doors you must open to free the mind.
February 13, 2009 | Registered CommenterLiara Covert

"learning opportunities are infinite but individuals are not always aware or receptive."

So very true.

"If you believe unconsciousness (or lack of awareness) is the root cause of problems you perceive, then love, forgiveness and awakening are the doors you must open to free the mind."

Very well said!
Liara, thank you so much for these fantastic words!

February 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMax Coutinho
"mind and body are inseparable" - i liked this crispy take.
I love Aikido a lot. I do not do it, I was doing Judo long ago. These are similar but Aikido is my favorite as it uses the adversary's strength to defeat him.
Alik, you may be familiar with the Japanese Martial Art Maxim: Alto no saki . This roughly translates into: Take your opponent's technique and turn it into your own. Aikido technique trains the mind to work in harmony to resolve conflicts. Related mental discipline fosters the skills and perseverence that truly characterize Zen spirit.
February 13, 2009 | Registered CommenterLiara Covert
That is too cool!
That explains perfectly why the opponent disarmed when you agree with him. For example, when you agree with pissed-off customer, he calms down, when you agree with your kid, she starts listening to you, when you agree with your boss, you have the opportunity to offer your own idea. Influence w/o authority equals mental aikido.

You gave me a great idea! When I was an actor, I used to do Tai Chi. I used to do it for strength, discipline, focus, and just because I really enjoyed it. I haven't really thought much about doing Tai Chi but your tips on Aikido made me thing this might be a very beneficial thing for me to do. I think it would be possible for me to use your tips in Tai Chi as well. Always hear good things when I am here!

February 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMelinda
Melinda, when a person is unwilling to let go inside of situations, energy builds up in ways that do not serve you. Memories are helpful insofar as they enable you to learn an grow. Yet, if you allow them to take over your focus, then they obscure your formless presence amidst everything else that is unfolding. Martial arts empower people to calm the mind. Tai chi is peaceful meditation.
February 13, 2009 | Registered CommenterLiara Covert
A wonderful post, great ideas on the all the tips. I agree with all of them. My favorite is "Discipline the spirit." I enjoyed reading this.
Thank you,
Giovanna Garcia
Imperfect Action is better than No Action
February 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGiovanna Garcia
I never understood what martial arts have to do with Buddhism. Yes, there is a body mind connection, and I can see where Tai Chi fits in. Yet, fighting and enlightenment seem quite opposite to me.
Just a thought :)
February 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBuddha of Hollywood
Good Friday morning to you, sweet Liara.

That discipline and focus has worked for me every single time I have done what you mentioned above. Instinctively I just "knew" what to do with action plus thought and intention and follow-through.

Happy Valentine's Day to you :)
February 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLoving Annie
Giovanna, disciplining the spirit is a process that helps unlock personal mysteries. Reconnecting with soul occurs in steps that each person defines with choices.
February 14, 2009 | Registered CommenterLiara Covert
Buddha of Hollywood, aikido is actually viewed as a peaceful martial art because of the gentle approach to harnessing and redirecting energy. It can be used to increase your core life (qi) energy through structured mental discipline. Aikido training strategies are used in physical self-defense, but they focus on avoidance movements and self-control. Rechannelling energy through aikido is considered less adverserial than certain other martial arts. Tai chi is another series of movements that empower you to discipline the mind. They are believed to enhance health and well-being through gentle, repeated movement and concentration.
February 14, 2009 | Registered CommenterLiara Covert
Hi Liara, as usual, a great post. I particularly appreciate how you succintly present your posts & organize each subject with bulletpoints. Makes everything bite-sized leaving the option of further exploration up to the reader.

Another great monk practice is discernment of mind. Awareness of the physical composition of the brain. Monks who meditate on the right hemisphere, left hemisphere, frontal lobe, mid brain, base etc were actually (not surprisingly) proven to have radically enhanced brain balance & fluidity of function.
February 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAvenefica

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